The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) has stated that effective and systemic use of Strategic Communication in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies is key to counter-terrorism and overall national security operations.
The Coordinator, Counter-Terrorism Centre (CTC), ONSA, Commodore Yem Musa, stated this at the One-Day; ‘Strategic Communication Analytical Technique Exercise’.
Musa said that the nature of asymmetric warfare and the liberalisation of information access through the social media has made it imperative for any state actors serious about its national security to develop efficient and effective use of Strategic Communication.
He noted that the threat from terrorists, insurgent groups and other non-state actors in the country, has called for enhanced capacity and holistic measures to deal with the emerging security challenges.
The CTC boss however, expressed regret that whereas the non-state actors in the country, have perfected effective use of the social media, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to deadly effect, the government is still playing a catch-up role.
He said: “The increasing discourse on strategic communication among stakeholders in Nigeria can be linked to the growing body of research on, and practice of counter-terrorism laws, policies and strategy. This, too, is as a result of a new kind of threat hitherto unknown to us.
“The threat from terrorism and violent extremism in parts of Nigeria have not only stretched our law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies, in terms of men and equipment, but also exposed the gap in our capacity to face asymmetric warfare.”
“Whereas violent extremist groups are adept in the use of strategic communication this cannot be said of governments. Through this exercise, we will explore how strategic communication must be a first order capability in the armed forces, law enforcement and intelligence agencies as well as strategic MDAs of government,” he added.
Musa informed stakeholders at the exercise that “strategic communication is a crucial and relevant tool for counter terrorism and counter insurgency and permeates all governance structures and enhance national security and well-being”.
At the end of the exercise, participants agreed on the need to develop a common lexicon on strategic communication across MDAs in Nigeria.